Linda’s PPD/A impacted all parts of her life, and contributed to the end of her marriage. She healed with help from her psychiatrist, as well as PPPSS’s weekly support group and telephone support. During her journey through postpartum, Linda learned how to take care of herself so she can take care of her son. She now lives her life with renewed joy.
After suffering from anxiety throughout her pregnancy, Linda developed postpartum depression soon after giving birth to her son.
There were days where, many days, many mornings where I couldn’t get out of bed so if I couldn’t get out of bed to take care of my self I couldn’t take care of my son. And that was pretty disappointing, I’m sure, for my husband because I felt like I was letting him down and I was.
I remember it would happen a lot in the mornings, like when, when we first got up. Because I’d, that was when my spouse, my husband was getting ready for work and he’d be leaving me for the day and it would just be me and my baby. And I would just get into these panic attacks when, you know, I’d lose my breath, I’d have difficulty breathing, I’d be heaving, I couldn’t think properly, my mind was just a big bunch of thoughts that were just. I felt like my thoughts would just, were just going in, in super-hyper-mode.
I wasn’t functioning, I think that was really the most important part was that I was, I was feeling debilitated, I felt like my panic attacks would lead to me being frozen and not being able to do anything and all I could do was just run to my bed and hide in my sheets right
And, and that was hard because I felt that that was a reflection of my character, of my strength .. or my will power. Not that it had anything to do with postpartum, that I was going through depression. I felt that was more just a reflection of me as a person.
Linda got help from medication, sessions with her therapist, getting breaks from her baby, and attending a weekly Pacific Post Partum Support Society’s group:
And it was really hard for me to get myself to the first group because I wasn’t sure what to expect and I was scared, because I hadn’t talked about it with anybody. So for the first year of my post partum I didn’t tell anybody, probably first year and a half, I didn’t tell like other mums, I didn’t tell like friends and family, I told maybe some select few what I was going through; I was very ashamed of what I was going through. Even though I had done lots of reading about it, I knew I was at a high risk to get I, still was ashamed. And so I didn’t talk about it for the longest time, so there was a lot of stigma for me surrounding having to admit that I had it.
The stress of new parenthood and Linda’s depression greatly impacted her marriage
So it was always just me and my husband and that was a lot of pressure on our marriage. And I think we were both feeling like we were disappointing each other. .. .. ..
I think we kept looking at each other and trying to take care of the situation, but the situation was so enormous that it needed more in place. We did admit to ourselves that we needed help and we did get help.
I think it was harder for my husband to admit that we needed help. I think it’s to do with being the provider and being able to fix things and take care of the situation, right? I think it’s to do with being the provider and being able to fix things and take care of the situation, right? among like ourselves, right? being self-sufficient. I know that that’s how he was raised. And so it was harder for us as a family to go and ask for help. We did eventually, with his parents, and luckily they eventually did say yes. But it was hard, it was hard to convince people that why we needed help.
And I didn’t have anybody to ask in my family, my biological mother was gone, she was out of the picture; for my own safety. And I had grown a bond with a foster family but they didn’t live nearby so I didn’t have any of those supports.
So consequently, you know, it deteriorated our relationship and, and we changed. Like I came, as I recovered from post partum a part of my recovery was trying to, you know, really see things for what they really are and being honest with myself. And one was, one of those things was, you know, what was the state of my relationship with my husband, and where do I want it to go? And the two didn’t meet. I tried really hard, you know, for five years in my marriage, I mean for the five years after my son was born to keep our family together. But in the end I decided that I couldn’t be something that I wasn’t.
I could still be a good mum, the way I thought it should be for my son and I, for my son but I couldn’t be something in a relationship. So, and that was part of why I think I was depressed too, why I was unhappy. Was knowing that I was doing it on my own and I wasn’t ok with that,
I’m glad that I made the best decision for myself and, you know, and as a result for my son.
Because, you know, again it’s back to that self-care regardless if you’re going through post partum or not, you know, it’s self-care for women that if you take care of yourself then you’re able to take care of others. And so I feel better that I can take care of myself and take care of my son better now. Even if that means, you know, not being married anymore.